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What is Lexile Level? Is my child reading on grade level?

  • Is your student reading on grade level?

    What is a lexile measure?

    A Lexile measure is a valuable piece of information about either an individual's reading ability or the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine article. The Lexile measure is shown as a number with an "L" after it — 880L is 880 Lexile.

    A student gets his or her Lexile reader measure from a reading test or program. For example, if a student receives an 880L on her end-of-grade reading test, she is an 880 Lexile reader. Higher Lexile measures represent a higher level of reading ability. A Lexile reader measure can range from below 200L for emergent readers to above 1600L for advanced readers. Readers who score below 0L receive a BR for Beginning Reader. In some cases, for readers, a BR code is followed by a number and L (e.g., BR150L). A Lexile reader measure of BR150L indicates that the Lexile measure of the reader is 150 units below 0L. The smaller the number following the BR code, the more advanced the reader is. For example, a BR150L reader is more advanced than a BR200L reader.

    Typical Text Measures, by Grade

    Grade

    Text Demand Study 2009
    25th percentile to 75th percentile (IQR)

    2012 CCSS Text Measures*

    1 230L to 420L 190L to 530L
    2 450L to 570L 420L to 650L
    3 600L to 730L 520L to 820L
    4 640L to780L 740L to 940L
    5 730L to 850L 830L to 1010L
    6 860L to 920L 925L to 1070L
    7 880L to 960L 970L to 1120L
    8 900L to 1010L 1010L to 1185L
    9 960L to 1110L 1050L to 1260L
    10 920L to 1120L 1080L to 1335L
    11 and 12 1070L to 1220L 1185L to 1385L
     

    Data for the first column of text measures came from a research study designed to examine collections of textbooks designated for specific grades (MetaMetrics, 2009). The "stretch" text measures (defined in 2012 through studies related to the development of theCommon Core State Standards for English Language Arts) in the second column represent the demand of text that students should be reading to be college and career ready by the end of Grade 12. 

    Lexile Measures Help Readers Grow, and Help Parents and Teachers Know

    Teachers and parents can best serve a student's literacy needs when they treat him or her as a unique individual, rather than as a test score or a grade-level norm or average. The reading abilities of young people in the same grade at school can vary just as much as their shoe sizes. However, grade-leveling methods commonly are used to match students with books.

    When a Lexile text measure matches a Lexile reader measure, this is called a "targeted" reading experience. The reader will likely encounter some level of difficulty with the text, but not enough to get frustrated. This is the best way to grow as a reader—with text that's not too hard but not too easy.

    When you receive a Lexile measure, try not to focus on the exact number. Instead, consider a reading range around the number. A person's Lexile range, or reading comprehension "sweet spot," is from 100L below to 50L above his or her reported Lexile measure. 

     



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